An award-winning team from one of Northern Ireland’s leading business and enterprise centres has carried out a range of business development programmes aimed at increasing employment in Newtownabbey.
LEDCOM, which recently won the ‘Promoting Entrepreneurial Spirit’ Award in the inaugural Northern Ireland Enterprise Awards, has been busy in Newtownabbey helping individuals and businesses prepare for the expected economic recovery.
LEDCOM’s annual Director’s Report which was published this week, showed that the company was engaged in a range of job creation programmes that will benefit the borough as it emerges from the economic downturn.
LEDCOM Chairman, Henry Fletcher, said it had been a very busy year as the company secured a number of major contracts to deliver business development programmes throughout the North East area of Northern Ireland.
He said: “People in Newtownabbey are hard-working and industrious and many who have found themselves unemployed as a result of the recession have taken part in a range of courses to improve their employability skills.”
The courses offered in Newtownabbey include the Social Entrepreneurship Programme, and the Learner Engagement Access Programme.
The Social Entrepreneurship Programme (SEP) is an Invest NI programme aimed at supporting social economy business start-ups and providing business development support.
As part of the successful winning tender for the SEP Programme, LEDCOM was selected by Enterprise NI to deliver the programme in Newtownabbey, Carrickfergus, Larne, Ballymena, Ballymoney and Antrim.
During the year, LEDCOM worked with 14 community organisations to set up seven new social economy businesses, creating 25 potential new jobs.
This included working with Musical Theatre company MT4Uth to create a new post in Newtownabbey.
LEDCOM successfully tendered to Northern Regional College for the DEL funded Learner Access and Engagement Programme (LAE) in Newtownabbey for adults and NEETS (Not in Education, Employment or Training) aged 16-18 in the borough.
The LAE programme is directed at those ‘hard to reach’ adults and young people who are economically inactive with few or no qualifications, to encourage them to take suitable training to prepare for employment.
A range of accredited educational courses were available including essential skills in Numeracy and Literacy, ICT, Creative Craft, Food Safety and Sports Leadership.
LEDCOM also acts as a one stop shop for business advice to individuals considering business start up and to established businesses in Newtownabbey. During the year LEDCOM delivered the Regional Start Initiative programme offering advice, training and business plan support.